Do more, be more, take more, eat more, have more. More! More!! More!!! That’s what society and the world screams at us at each point in time, but I do believe there comes a time when “Less is More.”
Several years ago, I would often go for dinner buffets where one single price gives you access to the entire menu. As most people would often do when presented with inexhaustible choices, I would fill up my entire plate with the same food choices I could easily have access to in my home, but never being able to go beyond one serving, and of course with lots of leftovers. Time and perhaps cash may have been wasted in such efforts. A buffet is however more than the food eaten, but in the overall experience, and I was to master this much later on.
On one occasion, a dear friend called me aside and said “you’re going about it the wrong way.” I was then schooled on how to spend hours relishing the time, and making every moment count. My friend said to me, “the trick is to go slow, easy and steady.” While pondering on the statement, “follow me,” my friend said. I then walked over to see what would happen next. My friend grabbed a small plate, and headed for where the exotic meals where displayed, I noticed not many people were in that section. My friend then took very little portions of carefully selected choice meal, and promptly went to sit down. After about 30 minutes, my friend stood up again, went to another section, took choice meals in little portions, and then went back to sit down. I sat down and observed this scene repeat itself for about 2-3 hours, with my friend standing up in regular intervals, avoiding where the “normal” meals which filled you up easily, but only opting for choice meals in small portions and at paced intervals.
My friend leaned over and whispered, “this is the secret to enjoying your buffet, start small and slowly, avoid the cheap and regular meals that you might as well make for yourself at home, go for the best options available, pace yourself at regular intervals, build momentum and don’t be in a rush, relish every moment because it’s not just about the meal but the experience, and make every moment count.”
I had indeed learnt a valuable lesson which I could apply not just for buffets but for life itself. How many times do we fill our plates with activity rather than results, shadow rather than substance, stones rather than pearls, and liabilities rather than assets?
Do more, be more, take more, eat more, have more. More! More!! More!!! That’s what society and the world screams at us at each point in time. However, we must consciously take out time to ensure that our efforts are targeted towards things, projects, aspirations, and ventures which gives the most reward and gives the most satisfaction. Often, we fill up our plates, time, and schedule with “junk” with the impression that the “busier” we appear to be, the more successful we would be. Life then becomes a rat race of playing catch up each time until we wear ourselves and burn out in the process.
I have made up my mind that I probably might not be called to change the world, but I am content in changing the world for someone. And perhaps that person would pay it forward and change the life of another, and the other goes ahead to change the world of the next person. And in that process, a chain reaction might be created of each one changing the life of another. Indeed, I might not have set out to change the world initially, but through one person, I indeed can.
Saving myself the stress of wearing myself out, or spreading myself too thin through trying to be “Super Man” to the world might be the best favour I can do to myself. Rather than focus on quantity, my thoughts focus on quality.
I have not fully mastered this art yet, and still in the process. I still struggle to convince myself to pull back often to breathe and let nature take its course. It might be hard for “activity junkies” such as many of us, but if we can truly learn the art of realising that less is more, it probably could be the greatest discovery we can ever make for ourselves.